Thorley Stephenson, Edinburgh Law Firm

Thorley Stephenson SSC is an Edinburgh based law firm providing a wide range of legal services in family, child and criminal court cases throughout Scotland. Tel: 0131 556 9599
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Thorley Stephenson successfully defends appeal against mother's move back to Poland with child

Using 12 points of the judgement to show that the sheriff had improperly exercised her discretion, the appellant claimed that the sheriff's decision was obviously erroneous. The respondent insisted that he should retain a level of physical contact with the kid that would not be achievable if she went back to Poland, even though it was undisputed that she should live with him.

Nigel Ross, the Sheriff Principal, heard the appeal. Thorley Stephenson SSC represented the defender and appellant, while the pursuer and appellant were represented by BCKM, solicitors.

Following their relationship, the respondent became pregnant right away, and their daughter was born in September 2018. The respondent hadn't worked since their daughter was born, but she wanted to start working again once the couple broke up. She wanted to return to Poland because she could not return to work owing to a lack of childcare support. Apart from her mother, it was noted that the responder lived in social isolation in Scotland, while in Lublin, she had a sizable extended family and social network.

The appellant was found guilty in January 2021 of acting abusively and threateningly against the respondent, which was made worse by domestic abuse. A Non-Harassment Order was put in place until the beginning of 2025 since their relationship was regarded as being marked by this type of abuse. Although he had not helped with child care during their relationship, it was discovered that the two had developed a close tie of attachment, with contact encouraged by the responder and her family.

The sheriff concluded in a long ruling that the child's return to Poland with the respondent was in her best interests. It was planned for contact to occur in Poland, but the appellant contended that his financial situation and employment circumstances rendered this impractical. The test used by the sheriff in accordance with section 11 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 was not contested.

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